Officially it was a “command and control facility” but it would be more correct to call it a prison full of detained civilians. Either way, US warplanes attacked the site, in the ISIS-held city of Mayadin, killing 57 people, at least 42 of them prisoners.
The identities of the prisoners aren’t known, obviously, because ISIS doesn’t make public who they’re detaining. Generally speaking, however, it’s people they view as not religious enough, or not loyal enough, or occasionally a rival rebel they captured and didn’t summarily execute.
US coalition spokesman Joe Scrocca insisted that the attack “disrupts” ISIS and was “meticulously planned” ahead of time. He denied any knowledge of civilian deaths, however, or even knowing the site was a prison, insisting that there would be “an assessment.”
Historically, the promise of an “assessment” by the Pentagon is the beginning and the end of official response to media reports of large civilian casualties. Such incidents are almost never included in the Pentagon’s legally mandated report on civilian deaths, or if they are, the official civilian death toll will be dramatically reduced, and associated with a new excuse.
This happens by way of the “assessment,” which appears to just review what they thought they knew about the facility, and if they decide that they had good intelligence, they insist civilian casualties “aren’t credible,” even if there’s a huge pile of dead civilians being pulled out of the rubble, and the incident is officially forgotten.
This article originally appeared on Anti-war.com .
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